There was one big reason the New York Rangers hired David Quinn as coach almost two years ago. Has he lived up to his reputation?
When the New York Rangers lured Coach David Quinn away from Boston University, Quinn was billed as a developmental coach. The thinking was, a teaching coach is needed to help the youngsters learn how to be a professional hockey player, and he and the rebuild would usher in a new golden age of New York Rangers hockey.
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to Madison Square Garden–the teaching coach that the organization hired to accelerate “the kids'” progress doesn’t seem to be the one that the Rangers got.
So, the question becomes–is David Quinn actually a developmental coach? Let’s review.
There are some obvious examples that prove Quinn is as advertised. His work with Anthony DeAngelo is revelatory. DeAngelo, mind you, was on his ostensible last shot in hockey when the Rangers acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes in the blockbuster trade that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the desert for the seventh overall pick and DeAngelo. In short, Quinn made DeAngelo grow up. He wouldn’t tolerate DeAngelo’s off-ice antics–and got him to walk the fine line of agitator and respectable citizen on the ice.
And let’s not forget about Ryan Strome. Strome was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for Ryan Spooner, and at the time it was considered an equal trade of bad contracts. Now it’s about as one-sided a deal you can get, with Jeff Gorton looking like a hockey demigod with powers us mere mortals can only fantasize about attaining.
Spooner flamed out spectacularly in Edmonton and is no longer in the NHL. On the other hand, Strome put up 59 points in 70 games as the Rangers’ second-line center.
But, how much of this success can be attributed to Quinn? Strome’s battering mate is Artemi Panarin, who has 95 points in 69 games this season. Is Strome’s career reclamation a product of Quinn’s developmental ways, or him playing with elite talent? Does it even matter, just as long as the Rangers are the beneficiaries?
Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren are both exceeding every expectation. They look like the 1-2 defensive pair of the present and future. In the second half of the season, Quinn has given them more responsibility and played them on the penalty kill and against the other teams’ top lines.